The Mayonnaise Jar and 2 Cups of Coffee
When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day are
not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and the two cups of coffee.
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.
"Is the jar full?" he asked the students.
"Yes," they all chorused back.
So he picked up a box of small pebbles and poured them into the jar, shaking it gently so that the pebbles worked their way between the balls.
"Uh huh, is it full now?"
"Absolutely"' they replied
So he picked up a box of sand and poured it in also. Shaking gently, the jar was soon full.
"How about now? Is it full yet?"
A unanimous "Yes" answered him.
So he produced two cups of coffee from under the bench and poured them in, without any overflowing.
"Well," he said with a smile, "How about now?"
He was greeted with a big laugh, the students knowing the joke was on them.
"Well," said the professor, "I want you to recognize that the jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - your god, family, your children, health, friends. your favorite passions. Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained
your life would still be full.
"The pebbles are the other things that matter, like your job, your house, your car, and the sand is everything else - the small stuff.
"If you put the sand in first there is no room for pebbles or golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on small stuff you will never have room for the things that are really important.
"So pay attention to to the things that are critical to your happiness. Take time to play with your children. Get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Play another 18. Help some one in need.
"There will always be time to clean the house or fix the window. Take care of golf balls first. Set your priorities. Everything else is really only sand".
One of the students raised her hand and asked what the coffee represented.
The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."
Submitted by Lindsey, Melbourne, Australia